Strategies to cope with stress or distress during the current outbreak of novel coronavirus.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): common reactions
As the situation relating to COVID-19 unfolds, including news reports, travel restrictions, and concerns for your own and your loved ones’ health – people can experience a wide range of thoughts, feelings and reactions.
You or someone you know may experience periods of:
- Feeling stressed or overwhelmed
- Anxiety, worry, or fear
- Sadness, tearfulness, and/or loss of interest in usual enjoyable activities
- Physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate, stomach upset, low energy, or other uncomfortable sensations
- Frustration, irritability, or anger
- Feeling helpless
- Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
- Isolating or withdrawing from others, and/or fear of going to public spaces
Strategies to cope with stress, anxiety or distress
Acknowledge your feelings. In situations that are uncertain and evolving such as this, it’s understandable to feel stressed, anxious, or upset, among other emotional reactions. Allow yourself time to notice and express what you’re feeling. This could be by writing them down in a journal, talking to others, doing something creative, or practicing meditation.
Maintain your day-to-day normal activities and routine where possible. Having a healthy routine can have a positive impact on your thoughts and feelings. This can include: eating healthy meals, physical exercise like walking, running or stretching, getting enough sleep, and doing things you enjoy.
Stay connected. Receiving support and care from others has a powerful effect on helping us cope with challenges. Spending time with supportive family and friends can bring a sense of comfort and stability. Talking through our concerns, thoughts, and feelings with others can also help us find helpful ways of thinking about or dealing with a stressful situation.
Seek accurate information. Finding credible sources you can trust is important to avoid the fear and panic that can be caused by misinformation. The UK Government Website https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response has up to date information, fact sheets, including advice and support.
Set limits around news and social media. It’s understandable to want to keep informed, especially if you or your loved ones are affected. At the same time, constantly reading, watching, or listening to upsetting media coverage can unnecessarily intensify worry and agitation. Take a break from news or social media, especially if there’s no new information. Focus on things that are positive in your life and actions you have control over.
Stay up to date with University/School advice and support. Check your education provider’s student support website for regular updates, including course updates and other information for affected students.
For more support
If you would like to speak with a staff member on the telephone, via a virtual appointment, or in person, please ring 01274 731166